IHA Daily Briefing: June 22

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Register: IHA Leadership Summit Is Sept. 29-30
Health Systems Ask for Govt Cybersecurity Assistance
Home Health and ESRD Medicare Payment Proposed Rules
Illinois COVID-19 Update
Briefly Noted

Register: IHA Leadership Summit Is Sept. 29-30
Build your leadership skills to advance the new normal in healthcare: Register today for the 2022 IHA Leadership Summit, held in person for the first time in three years. This year’s Summit, “What’s Next…,” will also help guide your efforts shape your organization for future success.

Public health expert Dr. Leana Wen will deliver a pivotal keynote address, “The Post-COVID Transformation of Healthcare Delivery.” Other can’t-miss sessions include:

  • “The Future of Work: Building a Winning People Strategy” by talent strategist and company culture expert Steve Cadigan;
  • “Leveraging the New Determinants of Health to Improve Patient Outcomes” by Daniel E. Dawes, JD, executive director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta; and
  • “Leading Digital Innovation in Healthcare” by Dr. Ted A. James, MHCM, FACS, medical director and chief of breast surgical oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Reactor panels of hospitals leaders from across the state will offer a close-to-home perspective on the topics covered, adding another dimension to the education and engagement of this year’s Summit.

We encourage hospital and health system leaders organization-wide to attend—from the C-Suite and board leaders to clinical and department leaders. Registration discounts are available through Sept. 15. The discounted room rate at the Summit venue, The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, is available through Aug. 29.


Health Systems Ask for Govt Cybersecurity Assistance
Between January and June of 2022, cyberattacks on health systems resulted in 256 hacks and information breaches—an increase from 149 for the same time span in 2021—according to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Service’s Office of Civil Rights. A recent article in POLITICO reports that cybersecurity group Sophos said attacks on health systems were up 66% over 2020.

POLITICO underscored that, “The unrelenting rise in attacks jeopardizes patient safety and strains clinicians already worn out by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the worst case, hackers can shut down hospital operations and siphon off patient data.”

In response, POLITICO reports health systems are requesting the federal government intervene and “provide more security for what they consider critical national infrastructure.” Health system leaders are not only encouraging President Biden to take action to shore up the country against cyberattacks and threats, but also help health systems respond and bear the burden of these attacks.

The article noted that while “there have been some federal efforts to assist health systems with cyberattacks, through the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Department of Homeland Security,” some health systems are saying more support and resources are needed. In response, some health leaders are advocating for a partnership between the individual system and the government focused on both cybersecurity protection and response.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and National Security Agency (NSA) and others, have continued to encourage organizations to consider strengthening their cyber security readiness.

In response to Russian state-sponsored cyber threats to U.S. critical infrastructure, CISA has advised that organizations should consider re-evaluating their security postures and exercise readiness, reviewing cyber incident response procedures, and monitoring relevant cyber security developments. Additionally, organizations should validate remote access and implement multifactor authentication, implement robust log collection and retention, enable strong spam filters, and ensure patches/updates are promptly applied. Click here for a complete list of recommendations provided by CISA, FBI and NSA.

Historically, Russian state-sponsored advanced persistent threat (APT) actors have used common but effective tactics—including spear phishing, brute force, and exploiting known vulnerabilities against accounts and networks with weak security—to gain initial access to target networks. Previous examples of these threats include the NotPeya and WannaCry ransomware attacks and, more recently, the compromise of SolarWinds Orion software that caused significant widespread damage to critical infrastructure.


Home Health and ESRD Medicare Payment Proposed Rules
Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released calendar year (CY) 2023 Medicare payment proposed rules for Home Health and End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). CMS proposed a net negative 4.2% rate update for Home Health, citing the need for a permanent behavioral assumption adjustment. CMS proposed a CY 2023 base rate for ESRD payments of $264.09, and increase of $6.19 from the current base rate.

IHA will release facility-specific Home Health estimated financial impact reports in the coming weeks. CMS provides summaries of the Home Health proposed rule is here and the ESRD proposed rule is here.


Illinois COVID-19 Update
The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 4,609 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 33 COVID-19 deaths.

Most recent IDPH hospitalization data show 1,144 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 129 patients were in the ICU and 34 patients were on ventilators.

The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily in Illinois is 8,806 doses. IDPH reported that 78% of Illinoisans (18 years and older) have been fully vaccinated, while 86.2% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 12 years and older, 76.8% have been fully vaccinated, while 84.9% have received at least one vaccination dose. For the Illinois population 5 years and older, 73.3% have been fully vaccinated and 81.1% have received at least one dose.


Briefly Noted
The Biden administration has indicated that it plans to develop a proposed rule that would establish a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and other tobacco products, intended to lower the amount of nicotine in U.S. products. “Addiction to nicotine in combusted products is the main driver of sustained use of these products. In fact, more than half of adult cigarette smokers make a serious quit attempt each year (quitting for at least a day), but most do not succeed due to the addictive nature of cigarettes. Such a product standard, if proposed and then finalized after a thorough process, would make those products minimally- or non-addictive,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement Tuesday.

Co-sleeping is never safe for infant sleep, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) first update to its sleep guidelines for babies since 2016. The recommendation is one of a number from AAP intended to reduce a growing number of infant sleep deaths. According to AAP, “The rate of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) among Black and American Indian/Alaska Native infants was more than double and almost triple, respectively, that of white infants (85 per 100,000 live births) in 2010-2013.”